New Mexico Divorce Education Project

"giving the children a voice"

Who ya gonna call?

If your marriage is falling apart oftentimes the best advice that a friend or acquaintance will give you is to hire the meanest, toughest lawyer you can find. And the truth be known, they are right about this. If you want to win the battle, that is the best way to do so. But if you win, that means the other side loses, and the other side includes not only your spouse, but your children as well. Research has shown that the legal adversarial process is one of the most damaging elements of divorce for the children.

You could hire a more "sensitive" lawyer, but the unless your adversary also finds a sensitive "mouthpiece," the chances are that you will lose. And legal ethics actually proscribe a lawyer from representing the interests of anyone but their own client. The children's interests are going to differ from yours, because they need both parents.

You could try mediation services, but all too often the focus of the mediator is to reach an agreement, with little concern over whether the agreement is really fair to all parties. The problem with mediation is that all too often the party that is the most unreasonable ends up getting what they want, and the party most willing to compromise, ends up being a doormat once again. Or, if there are lawyers in the background, the advice they give may be to not agree so things can proceed more in their domain, where it is more likely they can win for their client so the others lose.

That is where NMDEP comes in. We are designing a program where the only lawyer involved represents the children. The parents, if they cannot come to a mediated agreement that is fair to everyone, agree to binding arbitration, adjudicated by the children's representative. In this way, if anyone "wins" anything in the divorce, it will be the children, who in most past cases have been the ones who lose the most in that process.

email us .....Sponsored by the Temple of Mercy, a non-profit corporation .....Associated with Su Casa Psycotherapy Services

sometimes the best thing you can do, is let go and let God; music helps

things are not always what they seem, appearances can be misleading

contact: Kenneth L. Kast, M.A., psychology, L.M.S.W.
phone: (505)474-4850
snailmail: NMDEP, P.O. Box 8521, Santa Fe, NM 87504-8521

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